We went to the train museum and then the kids took a trip on a real train to a little tiny station that didn’t even have a platform. There they were able to see the train station controls that were built in 1902 and still remain in use. Just thought you should know.
traintrain station
The kids picked and ate blueberries behind the house. There’s nothing like having blue kids!

picking blueberries

We picked and ate my in-laws’ peas. Oh how yummy they were!

pea pods

The kids rode on the neighbor’s tractor.

tractor ride

We played mini golf. All of us.

mini golfmini golf

Alexander drove the car. He said he just wanted to put the windows down.
Alexander drove our car

The men fixed it. Yeah!

fixed car

We climbed through a rock labyrinth. Felsenlabyrinth


Alexander found a new friend.

new friend

Wir waren im Dampflochmuseum.

traintrain station
Die Kinder haben Blaubeeren geflucht.
picking blueberries

Wir haben Erbsen gegessen.pea pods

Die Kinder sind mit dem Traktor gefahren.

tractor ride

Wir haben Mini Golf gespielt.

mini golfmini golf

Alexander ist mit dem Auto gefahren.
Alexander drove our car

Wir haben es repariert.
fixed car

Wir waren in dem Felsenlabyrinth.


Alexander hat einen neuen Freund.

new friend

Can you imagine this kid at the age of 17 months not wanting to leave the beach towel for fear that the seaweed would bite him?


These pictures are the result of years of work trying to convince him that seaweed is grass which happens to grow under water. Now Alida is playing the game of being scared of seaweed. Typical!

Here are just a few of the pictures from our trips to the beach.

You know the drill: click to make them bigger.
Alexander on the jettyAlida on the jettycool dudechasing wavesrunning from wavesour beachchasing wavesAlidaDennistoes

When we visited my sister, Judy, in Dennis we brought ice cream cone cupcakes we baked using a mold she had given me from Williams-Sonoma. She works there for fun and I have no idea how she could possibly take home a pay check-they have such cool stuff.

ice cream cupcakes

After spending the day on the beach, we came back to the house to have dinner with my sister’s 2 kids, my brother, sister-in-law, their 2 kids and my dad. Here are my kids doing what they do best; Alida is reading a Barbie sticker book my sister had given her and Alexander is watching TV with two remotes under his arms. That way he could be in control of both the television in this room and the one in the other room. He is a mechanical control freak, wouldn’t you say?


Is it clear now why I didn’t want to come home?

Some fiber content is coming.

Here I read about new releases on DVD: www.dvdb.de Hier informiere ich mich über Neuerscheinungen auf DVD www.dvdb.de

We’ve sent our first tooth to the tooth fairy.


We’ve also been making bridges.


Just for fun.

Unser erster Zahn ist bei der Zahnfee.


Und wir haben eine Brücke gebaut.


Aus Spaß an der Freude.



If you don’t know who Emily is, you must have missed this post from last year.

We all love her so much in this house.

Alida and EmilyEmily knitting

Here she is with Alida last year getting lots of love, and she is also posing with one of my current UFOs. Yes, she’s been helping me get this one done for my Lent-along, oh she just loves knitting lace.

The kids just adore Emily, and if there is a problem we as parents can’t solve, Emily can usually take over and fix it. What a blessing she’s been.

Have you noticed she doesn’t seem to age at all? I’ve got to find out what she uses!

Am Samstag waren wir bei Mercedes am Salzufer, wo Alexander seinen Führerschein gemacht hat. Erst mußte er die Straßenregeln lernen. school

Dann ist er ungefähr eine Stunde rumgefahren.


Nachdem er seinen Führerschein bekommen hat, hat er sich sein Traumauto ausgesucht. Dieses War zufällig das Auto aus dem James Bond Film Octopussy. Dieses Bild ist für Dich, Bumpa!On Saturday we went to the Mercedes showroom and Alexander got his driver’s licence. First he went to school to learn the rules of the road. school

Then he drove around for about an hour.


After receiving his driver’s licence, he picked out the car he’d like to have. This one just happened to be the one from the James Bond movie, Octopussy. This one’s for you, Dad!!
Mercedes from Octopussy

… dolls, of course.

If you know me at all, you know I’m crazy about dolls.

I remember when I was in the 5th grade, I had a friend, Karen, who had a Mandy doll just like me. She also had a mother who loved to sew. One day we were at her house playing with our Mandy dolls, when we went into her mother’s sewing room. I was horrified how much junk was all over the place until I saw this wonderful mountain of fabric in one corner. I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe anyone could have so much. Then her mother offered to sew two sport bags for our dolls. We sat and watched with amazement as her adept fingers and noisy sewing machine turned some brown scraps of suede into two little Mandy bags that fit perfectly under our dolls’ arms. I couldn’t have been happier. I will never forget that time and how it inspired me to sew. I was so amazed how she turned something so ordinary and unwanted into something I treasured for a long tome afterward. Oh gosh, could this have been the beginning of my bagaholic problem??

My mom is also crazy about dolls. So poor Alida, who happens to be the only girl out of 9 grandchildren, has to love dolls, too.
Luckily, she does. Here are just a few of the babies we have around to play with, and believe me, we do.
ragedydollsreal babybarbies

The first one is my Raggedy Ann doll from when I was little. When I was around 8, my sister’s good friend gave her to me when she came to live with us for the summer . I’ve always loved my Raggedy Ann doll. Her apron is floating around here somewhere.

The big baby picture is a doll that my mom and I bought back when I first moved to Germany because she looked so real. I took her home and filled her fabric stomach with plastic pellets to make her as heavy as a real baby. On the way home in the airplane, I carried her around like a real baby and you should have seen the reactions I got! I was given a seat in a crowded bus, and one man said he’d pay me to drop it on the floor just to see what the people would do. People sure are sick, aren’t they?? Of course, I didn’t do it, although the thought was tempting.

Ich muss sagen, es war ein wunderbarer Urlaub!
Die Kinder spielten schön miteinander und es machte viel Spaß gemeinsam zu kochen oder einfach nur zu quatschen.
Martins Familie wohnt in einem alten Fortshaus am Waldrand und es ist ein herrlicher Ort. Es befindet sich ein kleiner Teich auf dem Grundstück der zugefroren war. Also versuchten wir uns im Schlittschulaufen. Für die Kinder war es noch etwas zu früh aber sie hatten trotzdem viel Spaß. Nach ein paar Minuten lief es ganz gut und ich hatte eine Menge Spaß auf dem Eis. Dann gibt es auch noch einen kleinen Hügel im Garten, der perfekt zum Rodeln geeignet ist. Alexander mochte den Schlitten mit den Bremsen – na typisch*.
Alida skating Alexander skating sled
Alexander und ich waren jeden Tag skifahren. Sehr zu meiner Freude erklärte er mir, dass skifahren sein neuer Lieblingssport sei. Der erste Tag war noch recht anstrengend mit ihm. Er ist ein recht ängstliches Kind, aber nach etwa einer Stunde fuhr er bereit ganz allein.
Martin kam einen Tag auch mit auf die Piste. Alexander beobachtete wie ich Martin ein wenig unterrichtete und machte auch gleich mit – so gut wie es ein vierjähriger eben kann. Sogar heute früh vor der Abreise waren wir noch mal auf dem Berg und machten 10 Abfahrten.
Ich bin sooo stolz auf ihn!! Merkt man’s? Ich habe ca. 50 Bilder von ihm auf Skiern aber ich dachte mir ich verschone euch und zeige nur diese paar hier. Schaut euch nur diesen kleinen Michelin Mann auf Skiern an!
Alexander skiing Alexander skiing Alexander skiing lift Alexander skiing
Nachdem Martin und Alida am ersten Tag rodeln waren, sahen sie uns beim Skifahren zu. Alida beharrte darauf auch skifahren zu wollen, aber sie einfach noch zu jung. Wir werden sie erst im nächsten Jahr ‘foltern’. Hihi
* Hab ich schon geschrieben was Alexander wirklich faszinierte? Die Zahlen am Schlepplift und die Mechanik des Lifts selbst. Hab ich schon mal erwähnt, dass Alexander alles technische mag sowie alles was mit Zahlen zu tun hat? Wir waren auf zwei Abfahrten und er wusste jedesmal die Nummer des Ankerlifts der uns den Berg hochzog. Dieses Bild ist für ihn.

I have to say it really was a fabulous vacation!
The kids played really well together and it was a lot of fun making dinner with everyone and just chatting. Martin’s family lives in an old forester’s house on the edge of the forest and it’s a gorgeous place. There is a little pond on the property that was frozen over, so we decided to try our hand at ice skating. For the kids it was a bit too early to try skating but they had fun anyway. After a few minutes I had my skating legs going and was having a great time. We also had a small hill in the back yard that’s perfect for sledding. Alexander liked the sled with the brakes-typical *.
Alida skating Alexander skating sled

Alexander and I went skiing every day, and much to my excitement, he told me he’s found his new favorite sport. I’m so excited. The first day was tough with him, he’s a very scared kind of kid, but after about an hour he was on his own, doing everything really well.
Martin went skiing with us for a day and after watching me teach him a bit, Alexander started doing the same things. Yesterday he started paralleling-as well as a 4-year-old can. We even went skiing in the morning for two hours before we left, so we could get 10 more runs in.
I’m just so proud!! Can you tell? I have about 50 more pictures of him skiing but I thought I’d give you all a break and just show you these. Look at that little Michelin Man on skis!
Alexander skiing Alexander skiing Alexander skiing lift Alexander skiing

After Martin and Alida went sledding on the first day, they sat for a while to watch us ski. Alida kept telling us she wanted to ski too, but we decided she’s not quite ready to start skiing yet, so we’ll be torturing her next year. Hehe

* Have I told you what really intrigued Alexander? The numbers on the T-bar lift and the mechanics of the lift itself. Have I mentioned that Alexander loves anything technical and anything that has to do with numbers? We went to two slopes and he knew the number of the T-bar every time we went up. This picture is for him.

ski lift

…birds. We love birds. Well, we love them now. The turning point came two years ago when, despite having two bird-chasing cats guarding every window in this apartment, a mama bird made a nest on our balcony. We noticed one day that a peaceful creature was quite busy flying back and forth from grass to our balcony carrying twigs and nesting materials clutched in her beak. After waiting for her to leave on her trek for more twigs, we admired the nest she was building in one of my flower pots.

A short time later she had laid 4 eggs. Cute little white speckled eggs that immediately touched the mother in not just me, but Martin and Alexander as well. Then those wonderful little eggs hatched into little helpless babies that chirped and opened their beaks wide when they heard their mother was around. Discreetly we watched from the comfort of our living room sofa how the mama brought them treats from the backyard. Oh, it was as if we had given birth to 4 babies of our own. The first thing we did after getting out of bed every morning was to check on our babes. They were growing and eating and growing and eating. And we were watching.

I don’t know how to end this story, it’s so sad.

You see, we don’t just have little sweet mommy birds (to be exact it was an Amsel or blackbird in English), but we also have large monster carnivorous birds (Elster or Magpie in English) here that at one terrible point found the nest. We watched helplessly as the big bird did what nature told her to do and our babies were soon gone. I was furious and sad and hurt and mad. How could this happen?? Those were our babies. I felt so helpless.

Since then, birds have been an obsession of ours, or shall I say of mine. We have two bird feeders-one on the balcony and one on our kitchen window so we can watch them come and go and admire their gentle beauty.

bird feederbird nest
click to see a bigger view of the birds nest and bird feeder-unfortunately, both unoccupied.

We haven’t touched the nest since our bird family ‘left’. In fact, I planted boxwood around it in hopes that it would make it more liveable and protected, in case that mama, or any mama for that matter, wants to find a home with us. The nest has been empty for two years but I’m not one to give up hope.

I’ve joined Anne’s ABC-Along and I will be posting a letter of the alphabet every two weeks and telling you what each one means to me. Sound like fun? I think so.
A is for Alexander and Alida. Or as Alida says: Amama and Adaddy. Everything has an A on the front of it. Maybe we should have named them Dick and Jane, then she wouldn’t have had this confusion with the A’s.


This is our Christmas card photo taken in front of our church on Christmas Eve. I was good this year and sent them off in the first week of January. That’s an improvement over last year. Aren’t you proud of me??

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